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About this text

  • Title: The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)
  • Editor: Andrew Griffin

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Anonymous
    Editor: Andrew Griffin
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    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    Enter Cornwall and Gonorill.
    1355Corn. I wonder that the Messenger doth stay,
    Whom we dispatcht for Cambria so long since:
    If that his answere do not please vs well,
    And he do shew good reason for delay,
    Ile teach him how to dally with his King,
    1360And to detayne vs in such long suspence.
    Gon. My Lord, I thinke the reason may be this:
    My father meanes to come along with him;
    and his three daughters.
    And therefore tis his pleasure he shall stay,
    For to attend vpon him on the way.
    1365Corn. It may be so, and therefore till I know
    The truth thereof, I will suspend my iudgement.
    Enter Seruant.
    Ser. And't like your Grace, there is an Ambassador
    Arriued from Gallia and craues admittance to your Maiesty.
    1370Corn. From Gallia? what should his message
    Hither import? is not your father happely
    Gone thither? well, whatsoere it be,
    Bid him come in, he shall haue audience.
    Enter Ambassador.
    1375What newes from Gallia? speake Ambassador.
    Am.The noble King and Queene of Gallia first salutes,
    By me, their honourable father, my Lord Leir:
    Next, they commend them kindly to your Graces,
    As those whose wellfare they intirely wish.
    1380Letters I haue to deliuer to my Lord Leir,
    And presents too, if I might speake with him.
    Gon. If you might speak with him? why, do you thinke,
    We are afrayd that you should speake with him?
    Am. Pardon me, Madam; for I thinke not so,
    1385But say so only, 'cause he is not here.
    Corn. Indeed, my friend, vpon some vrgent cause,
    He is at this time absent from the Court:
    But if a day or two you here repose,
    Tis very likely you shall haue him here,
    1390Or else haue certayne notice where he is.
    Gon. Are not we worthy to receiue your message?
    Am. I had in charge to do it to himselfe.
    Gon. It may be then 'twill not be done in haste. to herselfe.
    How doth my sister brooke the ayre of Fraunce?
    1395Am. Exceeding well, and neuer sicke one houre,
    Since first she set her foot vpon the shore.
    Gon.I am the more sorry.
    Am.I hope, not so, Madam.
    Gon. Didst thou not say, that she was euer sicke,
    1400Since the first houre that she arriued there?
    E4 Am. No,
    The History of King Leir
    Amb.No, Madam, I sayd quite contrary.
    Gon.Then I mistooke thee.
    Corn.Then she is merry, if she haue her health.
    Am.Oh no, her griefe exceeds, vntill the time,
    1405That she be reconcil'd vnto her father.
    Gon. God continue it.
    Am.What, madam?
    Gon.Why, her health.
    Am.Amen to that: but God release her griefe,
    1410And send her father in a better mind,
    Then to continue alwayes so vnkind.
    Corn.Ile be a mediator in her cause,
    And seeke all meanes to expiat his wrath.
    Am. Madam, I hope your Grace will do the like.
    1415Gon. Should I be a meane to exasperate his wrath
    Against my sister, whom I loue so deare? no, no.
    Am.To expiate or mittigate his wrath:
    For he hath misconceyued without a cause.
    Gon.O, I, what else?
    1420Am. Tis pity it should be so, would it were otherwise.
    Gon. It were great pity it should be otherwise.
    Am. Then how, Madam?
    Gon. Then that they should be reconcilde againe.
    Am. It shewes you beare an honourable mind.
    1425Gon. It shewes thy vnderstanding to be blind, Speakes to her selfe.
    And that thou hadst need of an Interpreter:
    Well, I will know thy message ere't be long,
    And find a meane to crosse it, if I can.
    Corn.Come in, my friend, and frolick in our Court,
    1430Till certayne notice of my father come. Exeunt.